AlliAlpa project (‘fertile land’ in Quichua): strengthening agroecological practices and developing short food supply chains
In a trading environment that is particularly unfavorable to small producers and against a backdrop of agroecosystem degradation, the past few years have seen an increasing number of agroecology and short food supply chain initiatives in Ecuador. The demand often comes from grassroots farmers’ organizations, supported by national and international NGOs. However, this movement now needs to move up to a more professional and scientific level so that it can play a role in shaping relevant public policies. The authorities have also slowly become interested in new farming methods but their focus is more on a Green Revolution.
The NGO CESA (Ecuadorian Agricultural Services Center), the project’s local partner, has been working with the country’s small producers for over 50 years. Its teams are aware of the limitations and harmful effects of conventional farming, and of the need for a new agricultural model. For this reason, it has decided on a shift to agroecology.
AVSF aims to improve the living conditions of the farming families in Pillaro canton by developing agroecology and creating equitable, solidarity-based and environmentally friendly distribution channels. Capacity building will be undertaken to support the transition to agroecology and to add value to the products.
This project will include an awareness-raising component on sexual and reproductive health.
The NGO CESA will receive support for its contribution to developing agroecology and short food supply chains in Ecuador. Support for advanced training, research and sustainable policies in these fields will also be provided.
By the end of the project, the supply of high-quality agroecological products will have been improved and extended by at least 20%. These products will be processed and traded by women via short supply chains. A total of 320 smallholders will follow a training program and exchange of traditional farming knowledge and skills. The role of women will be strengthened, as will processing capacity, added value and low-impact environmental practices. Two new collective short supply chain trading initiatives will be set up as well as an economic impact reporting system on the families selling their produce through these supply chains.
Thirty women leaders will receive training on health and on sexual and reproductive rights.
Ten technicians from the NGO CESA will be trained to support the smallholders’ agroecological practices and short food supply chain distribution.
The NGO’s agricultural extension capacity will be strengthened, as will support tools for agroecology and for developing local markets. Three guidance manuals will be produced and circulated in order to capitalize on the project.
Four universities, in conjunction with two local governments, will benefit from capacity building for training, research and public policy development to support agroecology and short food supply chains.